Beluga Symposium 2023
3 May 2023, 8:30 AM - 5 May 2023, 5:00 PM
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
The call for abstracts is closed.
Registrations are closed.
35 years after the International Forum for the Future of the Beluga: Where is the science now?
35 years ago, the International Forum for the Future of Belugas was held in Tadoussac. It was in 1988, only five years after the addition of the St. Lawrence beluga whales to the list of species at risk in Canada. The Forum was a catalyst for scientific research and multiple conservation initiatives, including the creation of the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park.
The St. Lawrence beluga is still on the list of species at risk and is currently considered endangered. Its population, decimated by over-hunting and thought to be stable, has started to decline at a rate of about 1% per year since the turn of the 21st century, and was estimated to less than 900 individuals at the time of the last evaluation in 2012. Several factors have been suggested to explain this decline including exposure to contaminants, human disturbance, reduction in prey abundance, quality and availability, noise pollution, boat strikes, toxic algal blooms, and epidemics.
The collective efforts of a large number of experts from academia, government, and non-profit research and conservation organizations have contributed to our knowledge of this population. This knowledge has helped identify the issues pertaining to this decline in order to better target actions aimed at protecting and recovering this endangered population.
The Beluga Symposium 2023 will bring together experts who will share their scientific advances through a diversified program. It will be an opportunity to exchange information and ideas on St. Lawrence beluga research and conservation and to respond to the interests of participants.
We look forward to seeing you there!
The Organizing Committee:
Jonathan Verreault, Université du Québec à Montréal
Magali Houde, Environment and Climate Change Canada
Robert Michaud, Groupe de recherche et d'éducation sur les mammifères marins
Véronique Lesage, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Cristiane C. Albuquerque Martins, Parks Canada
Stéphane Lair, Université de Montréal
Zhe Lu, Université du Québec à Rimouski